Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
John Stuart Mill
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
The Public is merely a multiplied "me."
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
Otto Von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
A witty saying proves nothing.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Redefining Counterterrorism: The Terrorist leader as CEO
Killing Osama bin Laden will not quash the terrorist threat from al Qaeda, because the group sees the war it started as an epic struggle lasting years if not decades. The group has shown itself to have a deeper "bench" than was previously thought and to have some form of "corporate succession" plan. In fact, the closest organizational relative to al Qaeda is perhaps a private multinational corporation. And bin Laden himself is perhaps best viewed as a terrorist CEO.
He defined a flexible strategy for the group that functions at multiple levels, using both top-down and bottom-up approaches. On the one hand, he has functioned like the president or CEO of a large multinational corporation by defining specific goals, issuing orders, and ensuring their implementation. This function applies mostly to the al Qaeda "spectaculars" - those high-visibility, usually high-value, and high-casualty operations like 9/11, the attack on the USS Cole, and the 1998 east Africa embassy bombings.
On the other hand, he has operated as a venture capitalist by soliciting ideas from below, by encouraging creative approaches and out-of-the-box thinking, and by providing funding to those proposals he finds promising. Several attacks by groups affiliated with al Qaeda attest to this approach. The attacks include those staged by Jemaah Islamiyah in Bali in October 2002 and Jakarta in August 2003; by al-Assiriyat al-Moustaqim in Morocco in May 2003; and by the Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front in Turkey in November 2003.
Al Qaeda deliberately has no single, set modus operandi-which makes the group all the more resilient and formidable. Instead, bin Laden built a movement that actively encourages subsidiary groups fighting under the corporate banner to mix and match approaches, employing different tactics and varying means of attack and operational styles in a number of locales.
Al Qaeda's resiliency and longevity are predicated not on the total number of jihadists that it might have trained in the past but on its continued ability to recruit, to mobilize, and to animate both actual and would-be fighters, supporters, and sympathizers. It is significant that, despite the punishment meted out to al Qaeda over the past 30 months, it remains a potent terrorist threat and destabilizing force in world affairs.
Underpinning al Qaeda's worldwide operations is bin Laden's vision, self-perpetuating mythology, and skilled acumen at effective communications. His message is simple. According to his propaganda, the United States is a hegemonic, status quo power that opposes change and props up corrupt and reprobate regimes that would not exist but for American backing.
There is no doubt that the United States and other governments have made significant progress in the war against global terrorism in recent months. Airports and planes are far better protected. Likely targets are surrounded by new barriers and other security measures. Many terrorists are in prison or in graves as a result of counterterrorism work by the United States and its allies.
But all that al Qaeda needs is one new successful attack. Governments appear to be only as good as their last failure. No matter how many attacks are prevented, no matter how many people are not killed daily by terrorists, what is remembered is the small number of attacks that succeed.
The epic battle launched by bin Laden is not over. If anything, because of what al Qaeda sees as America's global war on Islam (in Afghanistan and Iraq) and as America's commitment to ensuring the longevity of morally bankrupt regimes (in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and elsewhere), al Qaeda's commitment and sense of purpose today are arguably greater than ever. The group's stock has evidently not plummeted among its investors. These factors point to a long struggle ahead in the war against al Qaeda's brand of corporate terrorism.
Bruce Hoffman, director of RAND's Washington office and acting director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, is among the world's foremost authorities on terrorism.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.